There are those who chafe a bit when we take shots at McCain's age, but there's always a deeper point lurking behind many of those shots (cheap or not) -- leading the world's sole superpower in this digital era should require basic understanding of those things which drive the modern culture and economy. Asked whether he is a Mac or PC person, McCain answered:
Neither, I'm an illiterate that has to rely on my wife for all of the assistance I can get.
I think in 2008 computer use and understanding of the internet should be part of the basic skill set we expect from people in positions of prominent public leadership. It's pretty much impossible to have any kind of understanding of how people in the modern world go about their lives and work without that. The internet is not a fad or the playground for 17 year olds.
Technology now infects every corner of our lives, from cell phones to computers to the internet. It has given us access to the worlds' libraries, empowering us with direct access to information. It has connected us with people all over this country and world, dramatically redefining what the word "community" means. It is dramatically reshaping entire sectors of our economy -- from the nation's thriving tech sector, to legacy sectors like publishing, music, motion picture, medicine, and retail. And how many workplaces remain without computers?
How can a candidate who admits he is stuck in the 20th century lead a country in the 21st, when he lacks even the most basic understanding of how this brave new century operates? He doesn't know how people interact and communicate. He doesn't know have the faintest idea of how they work. And this from the guy who once chaired the commerce committee!
Is it any wonder that McCain has been completely unable to adapt to the rigors of a 21st century campaign, in which YouTube and blogs can instantaneously expose every single one of his myriad flip flops and capture every one of his ghastly grins?
And no, McCain doesn't have his 72 years as an excuse. The median age of a Daily Kos reader used to be 45 years old, but I think that number is actually increasing -- 44 percent of this site's readership is over 50 years of age. Only 15 percent of this site's audience is 18-34.
Age isn't the dividing line. There are clearly those who evolve with the times, this site is testament to that fact. But there are those, like McCain, who insist on living in the era of James Garfield and Teddy Roosevelt. How that's supposed to help him lead the America of the 21st Century is beyond me.